ACC establishes integrity committees in local councils in the south
In keeping to the tenets of implementing the Revised National Anti-Corruption Strategy (RSNACS), the NACS Secretariat embarked on a regional programme in October to establish Integrity Committees in local councils in Bo, Moyamba, Bonthe and Pujehun. The team was headed by the soft spoken manager, Mrs Christabel Gordon Harris and the peripatetic National Coordinator, Mr Raymond Kamara who effectively used the services of the ACC regional offices to provide them with support to enhance successful coordination of the process.
It should be noted that similar structure has been created in other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the recent past but the local councils have been treated separately to put premium on the issue of decentralization, where devolution of resources, both human and fiscal has been done for most MDAs including local councils. NACS has therefore made a determination to follow the devolution trail and thus put weight in creating these structures in the local councils so that the action matrix indicated in the revised NACS will be followed scrupulously to ensure that concrete actions are taken.
With all the successful visitations to the locations mentioned above, the services of the ACC district coordinators with full endorsement by regional manager, Mohamed Dumbuya, were sought to help in the planning and setting up of these committees in the councils. In all these meetings, the NACS Manager, Mrs Gordon Harris gave a synopsis of what constituted NACS, which according to her was a road map that would help chart the way in fighting corruption in a more holistic way. Mrs Gordon Harris narrated the stages NACS has evolved over time and the successes and challenges in the process of implementation. She also informed them about the role of the secretariat as a coordinating body and answerable to the commissioner. She opined that the NACS, through the able leadership of Mr Nabillahi-Musa Kamara, the director, the programme itself is being supervised by the Steering Committee at the highest policy level; and the committee in fact will soon do a validation of the processes undertaken so far including the just concluded monitoring that was championed by civil society monitors.
The National Coordinator of NACS, Mr Raymond Kamara, who coordinates efforts of stakeholders of the programme served as chairman throughout the visit to the four districts. Mr Raymond will highlight in much detail the composition of NACS, the trail of activities and together with Mrs Gordon-Harris will read out the terms of reference of the committee and the focal person that will act as liaison between the secretariat and the councils. In all of these discussions, the emphasis of transparency and accountability as the hallmarks in the implementation of the scheme dominated the agenda. In Bo for instance, the Chief Administrator of the Bo city council was instrumental in stating the achievement of councils and how they will be ready to work with the ACC to implement the various aspects of the revised NACS in the council. Mr Raymond Kamara, also highlighted potential areas of corruption for local councils including duplication of projects, abandoned (incomplete) projects, mis- procurement to mention a few.
The final session was the establishment of Integrity Committees and the appointment of Focal Persons. After this was done appointees were encouraged to do their work dispassionately since their appointment was based on the moral rectitude and integrity they discovered in them. They should feel free to work closely with ACC representatives in the districts, including the regional manager in Bo.
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